The third week in June, for us at AMO México, was spent in Mérida facilitating a new Master’s level course at San Pablo Theological Seminary. Twenty-four students – consisting of experienced pastors and seminary students – heard teaching centered around the book As the Family Goes, So Goes the Nation – Principles and Practices for Building Healthy Families, written by Dr. Elizabeth Youmans (author of AMO® Program), Dr. Jill Thrift (co-laborer with Youmans), and Scott Allen of Disciple Nations Alliance. The purpose of the 5 day course was to give pastors and other church leaders insights into biblical principles surrounding the importance of family and practical ways to help parents nurture and strengthen their families using principles learned from God’s Word.
Pastors and students gaining access to new tools to help parents and teachers throughout México to disciple their children.
Francelia Chavez McReynolds (interpretor) and Dr. Jill Thrift, teaching biblical principles that benefit families.
(Side note: With encouraging responses, we at AMO® Mexico have used the Spanish version of “The Family book” to help the parents in our programs. While the children are in their AMO® class, their parents are taught many of the same principles learned in AMO to help them better see God’s vision and purpose for family. Themes include: God’s Purpose for the Family in Discipling Nations, The Christian View of the Child, The Home as a Vital Learning Center, and Loving and Serving Others.)
The course at San Pablo was one of four courses offered by the seminary during June to promote biblical principles in everyday decision-making. The other courses were taught by Jose Antonio Alvarez (of Semilla), Luis Sena (of Disciple Nations Alliance), and Jose Gonzalez (of Semilla and author of Machismo and Matriarchy). The teaching was very well received by the students. Many expressed the great need for parents and pastors in Mexico to be better equipped in the education and discipleship of their children. This course offering was the result of the collaborative work between the seminary’s leadership and Walk With Mexico ™ ministry, a volunteer movement that assists endeavors which promote biblical principles through Christian education and discipleship in México and beyond.
As the United States struggles with the challenge of properly dealing with tens of thousands of undocumented youth and children coming from Central America, Mexico and other Latin American nations, we must not lose sight of the root causes of why they are leaving home. God speaks through the Bible, and application of His Word creates foundations for peace and prosperity. Biblical illiteracy in Latin America has always been dominant.
As a nation with a rich heritage of biblical principles, which guided the thinking of a majority of its founders, the United States has always been a beacon of hope and opportunity. In Latin America the Spanish founders were not influenced by the 16th-century Reformation and so, biblical principles did not become a significant part of the fabric of those nations (ask us for Jose Gonzalez’ book Machismo and Matriarchy: Toxic Roots that Blight the Latin American Culture). Only in our lifetime has it become acceptable for the majority of people in Latin America to actually possess and read the Bible for themselves.
Broken families and poverty are the historical legacy of a lack of biblical knowledge and Godly vision. During the class at San Pablo taught by Dr. Thrift, a pastor from Yucatan shared testimony illustrating this. He explained how the practice of men leaving their homes to seek work in the US has destroyed the fabric of families in his community. He said its not uncommon for the men stop communicating with family and stop sending funds. The pastor elaborated that even when the money from a migrant husband/father continues to arrive, the mother is forced to assume a role of matriarchy – which God did not intend. Children suffer from the lack of their father’s blessing, instruction, and leadership.
Today, AMO® México and Chrysalis International ministries partner with local churches in Mexico, and elsewhere, to aim at the roots of this crisis by helping churches throughout Latin America that teach God’s Word as the foundation for building healthy families and restoring their nations to the fullness of their potential in God’s plan.